Carpenteria californica

Bush Anemone is a locally rare native of the Sierra Nevada foothills in Fresno County in central California. This tough evergreen shrub with thin deep green leaves set against pale exfoliating glossy bark is perfectly hardy to cold and drought. In May/June 3″ wide pure white flowers with a central yellow boss of stamens are sweetly fragrant. Full sun to almost full shade in any soil with adequate drainage. Adaptable to dry clay soils and able to endure extreme drought. High deer resistance. Extraordinarily  climate adapted- enduring summer drought and winter rain. Appreciates good air circulation. No crowding. To 8′ tall and 5′ wide in 6 years. Often left alone by deer- but they will definitely try newly installed plants.  One of our most treasured west coast native shrubs. Very long lived sited correctly and denied summer water. Accepts blasting reflected heat. In time you can limb up the shrub to reveal the white/taupe exfoliating bark which appears glossy with age- this also assists in the air flow that this shrub craves.  A monotypic genus. There’s just one species.

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Carpenteria californica ‘Elizabeth’

A wonderful selection of Bush Anemone that was chosen because it produces more flowers (though they are a tad smaller than the species) born in multiple sprays. And this form is slightly more compact as well. An evergreen shrub with lanceolate leaves w/ a rolled margin (revolute).  The deep green leaves are attached to tan stems and trunks that with age exfoliate to a glossy metallic sheen. To 6′ tall by 4′ wide in 5 years. Full hot sun to very light open shade in average, well drained soil. For clay soils its best planted on a slope. Water to establish then none after the first summer- in fact this extremely drought adapted shrub prefers to go with out water. Provide good air circulation. Adaptable to the hottest sites, including western and southern exposures. Moderate deer resistance- they will try young plants so protect them. Long lived, climate, adapted shrub. Cold hardy to about 0ºF. The white  flowers that occur in May/June are sweetly fragrant. Prune, if needed AFTER flowering.

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Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’

Excellent huge flowering Hydrangea that is the best selection of this species. Globular pure white flowerheads are up to 10″ wide. Upright growing shrub that blooms on NEW wood, which means it can be cut to the ground to resize in early spring. This will also increase the amount of blooming wood. To 5′ x 5′ in 5 years in part shade and rich, well composted soil with regular summer water. Flowers remain and fade to acid green for a continuing effect. Winter deciduous.

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Hydrangea integrifolia

Very good evergreen climbing Hydrangea that is a tough and reliable vine for shady walls. Large slightly indented leaves are glossy green year round. Self clinging vine that will adhere to virtually any surface- not for the walls of houses or porches- better on fences, rock walls and even as a ground cover. In June large white buds explode into a doily of 6″ wide white flowers. Blooms 2-3 years after planting. To 15′ tall and as wide. Part shade to shade- regular water in full sun. Rich, well drained soil. Excellent cold hardiness to 0ºF. Gains speed as it ages. Avoid blasting hot locations. Woodlands are ideal.

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Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Munchkin’

Fantastic smaller scale Oak Leaf Hydrangea that is also a very heavy bloomer with large cone shaped flowers that are up to a 1′ long and protrude in every direction. Densely branching plant to only 3′ x 3′ in 6 years. Flowers have a light fragrance. Large leaves take on pink to red tints in late autumn. Flowers too that remain age to rich pink. Full sun to part shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. Regular summer water. This extraordinary release from the National Arboretum allows this wonderful multidimensional shrub for smaller gardens. Somewhat brittle when young. Site accordingly.

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Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Sike’s Dwarf’

Useful smaller Oak Leaf Hydrangea that maxes out at 5′ x 5′ after 6 years. Large lobed leaves are medium green changing to maroon/red in fall and holding on to the foliage until mid-winter. Cones of true fuzzy cream flowers subtended by larger sterile white florets. Full sun to light shade in rich, well drained soil with regular summer irrigation. Blooms on wood from the current season, may be cut back hard in early spring to control the size. Very easy to grow, long lived shrub with many seasons of interest.

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Hydrangea seemanii

Evergreen climbing Hydrangea with handsome glossy leaves and in early summer on old wood huge white buds unfurl to wide lacy white flowers subtended by larger sterile bracts on the exterior of the flower. . Moderately fast growing self clinging vine for part shade and rich moisture retentive soil. Scales walls, tree trunks to 20′ or more when it really gets going. Cold hardy. Protect from hot afternoon sun. Good appearance year round. Give it a year to begin to cling. It will do it on its own. Regular summer water speeds growth.

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Philadelphus lewisii ‘Snow Velvet’

No offense to natives but I’ve always found our native mock orange to be kind of a dull one note shrub. Sure, its showy in bloom and certain specimens can be sweetly fragrant but once its done blooming…yawn. What do you do with it? Instead plant this highly improved selection with enormous semi-double white sweetly fragrant flowers. Each blossom is fully 2″ across and they come in such abundance in June that whole 9′ x 8′ frame. Full sun to part shade in average, well drained soil. Drought adapted. Great scaffold for summer Clematis. Fall color is soft yellow and brief. Oregon native plant.

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Philadelphus x microphyllus ‘Charles Price’

Excellent smaller shrub with distinctive very small silver foliage and in June a plethora of single white flowers with the intense, penetrating fragrance of grape soda. To 5′ x 3′ forming an upright rounded deciduous shrub. Full sun and regular water to establish the first year then none in subsequent years. This may or may not be a hybrid- it really looks like the straight species. P. microphyllus  which is native to the American Southwest. Tough and hardy and very drought tolerant shrub that is well scaled for smaller gardens. Fall color is bright yellow. Blooms appear on wood from the previous season. Prune directly after flowering is over- if needed. Selected by our friend garden designer Charles Price, he gave this to us and we thought it was distinct enough to deserve his name.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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